After a shooting on Friday at Phuket Municipality Fresh Market 1 that left 3 injured and 2 dead, police announced today that they have apprehended the suspect they hold responsible for the shooting. Investigators followed his escape after he fled from the crime scene and managed to retrieve it this morning. He reportedly confessed to the crime and blamed financial hardship for his business and personal depression.
The shooter was identified as Maneenop Meethong, 47, from Songkhla, who operated one of the seafood stalls in the area where the shooting took place. He called the police, saying he was surrendering, but instead fled.
He fled the scene in a black Toyota Fortuner, which police found in Koh Kaew. The car was abandoned at Laem Hin Pier and CCTV footage captured him aboard a longtail boat heading for Coconut Island. However, investigators found that he actually took the boat to Krabi province where it landed at Ao Nang beach.
Maneenop had a car waiting for him that took off to his home province of Songkhla and he fled to his home town of Hat Yai. CCTV cameras successfully captured footage of him and assisted police from Phuket Town, Region 8 Police, Region 9 Provincial Police, and Songkhla Provincial Investigation Unit. coordinate to identify and apprehend their suspect.
He was taken into custody and detained at Hat Yai Police Station until about 3.30 a.m., when officers from the Phuket Town Investigation Unit picked him up and transported him to the 7 hour journey to Phuket to be continued there.
The incident began when a salesperson pretending to be a customer walked into his store to ask him about the price of the shrimp, which they argued intensely about until the store owner suddenly realized that the person with who he bickered was another salesperson. The shooter then admitted to police that he had often fought with other shrimp vendors as well as with his ex-wife. He left the market in anger, returning from his home shortly after, supposedly to pick up his gun as he walked back to the market and fired several shots before running away in his car.
Police report that he has not expressed remorse for those he killed and injured, and that a press conference will be forthcoming. For now, he remains in custody and faces charges in Phuket Provincial Court.
SOURCE: Phuket News
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